We will start our flu clinics on Tuesday, September 29. Clinics will be offered Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and some Friday mornings through the end of October, or even early November as needed, for everyone to get the flu vaccine. A signup calendar will be active on our website within a few days. Further instructions will follow as well.
We are still in the midst of a pandemic that has subsided in Massachusetts but is still very much with us and could easily rebound. We need to remain vigilant in our self care. No real good news. US infections and deaths are at high levels and increasing. An effective and proven vaccine is not realistic until next year and then will take many months to distribute. Keep up your careful self care. This is depressing but real.
We have started scheduling comprehensive visits (“checkups”) for members in the office. Checkups will be divided into two parts, with video discussion one day and in-office physical exam and completion the subsequent day. This will allow thorough and effective comprehensive exams that will be safer by restricting in time spent in closed exam rooms. In addition we have detailed phone prescreening for Covid-19 and active virus point-of-care testing on arrival at the office to protect all of us.
We will have flu clinics for all members in October with drive up vaccine administration. Signup for a given hour on a given day will be needed. Fine details still under construction. You want to get your flu shot this year for sure.
Shingles vaccine is an important vaccine for everyone over 50. It is highly effective. Supplies are finally improving. We are giving the shots in our office and have recently solved the bureaucratic puzzle to get patients Medicare Part D reimbursement. Pharmacies also can administer the vaccine.
Low-dose aspirin appears to have little if any benefit in primary prevention of vascular events in older patients while inducing more frequent serious bleeding episodes based on good recent studies. We will advise many (but not all) of you now taking baby aspirin to stop.
The sinuses are hollow areas in the bones of the face. When the lining is infected, the extra mucus produced causes a stuffy nose, pain in the face and yellow or green discharge. Sinusitis is really common in winter. Most cases are viral.
Influenza killed almost 80,000 people in the US last year, more than opioid overdoses, more than breast cancer, more than car accidents. The flu vaccine works and is benign. Get your flu shot with us before Thanksgiving!
Generic drugs are equally effective and safe as brand name pharmaceuticals. Prior authorization for expensive brand names is difficult to obtain and hard to justify. If a brand name is desired, the member will be asked to help provide the rationale for the approval process.
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